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Classwork, Hell Month begins, dreams, and birthday greetings

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Saturday, 25 January 2003. Posted in 2003

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous.’

“Actually, who are you not to be! You are a Child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God t hat is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in Everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give permission to other people to do the same.

“As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

—Nelson Mandela

I’m just waiting around for my groupmates Ann, Jules, and Raffy to get here so we can start working on our company audit of William, Gothong, and Aboitiz, Inc. (WG&A). This mini project for our Policy Implementation class is probably going to be the best effort we’ve ever done in class and that’s saying a lot already. I don’t mean to be boastful or self-assured but we really have raised the par in the format of the reports in this class. Last semester, we started by introducing the element of fun into the discussions by having a game before the actual discussions of the company’s structure, problems, opportunities, strategies, the four matrices, a SWOT analysis, and the group’s own recommendation. Since this is the last time we’ll be reporting in class, we decided to up the ante even more by devising a scripted report, like a real news cast that would, in effect, make all our video footage look as if they were done live. If all goes well, this will really blow the socks of Mr. Sabug!

We were really fortunate that Jules’ Dad knew the President and CEO of WG&A, Mr. Enrique Aboitiz. Because of this contact, Jules’ Dad was able to secure an appointment with Mr. Aboitiz so that we could interview him about his company, its difficulties, strategies, and how he manages the whole organization. Now how many students actually get to meet CEOs of companies as big as this one? I’d guess that there wouldn’t be that many which made us more nervous about it and the pressure of doing good ever more present in the back of our minds. That was all dispelled when he started talking. Man, this guy knows what he’s talking doing. He’s an absolute visionary and by the way he talked about the company structure, we got the feeling that he knows his company inside and out, that he’s the right guy to be in that job. Its probably like the feeling that the GE guys get when they’re around Jack Welsh—only a lot friendlier.

* * * * *

Next week is probably going to be my first taste of hell month, the traditional “crunch time” of the academic life. So many projects and deadline that are just zipping by, almost squashing us in the pressure. First things first, there’s my CS122 (Database Systems) midterms on Monday which I have hardly even reviewed for yet. Since Thursday is our report on WG&A, we have to finalize the script as late as Tuesday because our video will have to be edited to cut down on the amount of minutes we’ll be taking up in the report. That coupled my midterm in ITM105 (Systems Analysis and Design) on the same day will be a tough hurdle. Alas, Friday brings with it not the joy of being able to look forward to the weekend but our immersion in the New Bilibid Prison as a part of our theology class. That means I’ll be spending Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the prison area. In between, I still have a load of other stuff to accomplish like submitting my job application forms, the recently procured Ateneo Law School application form, miscellaneous readings and whatever else may be assigned during the week. Oh well… Maybe I’ll be able to get my much needed rest next week. Yeah, right! As if that’s going to happen.

* * * * *

I was at Rockwell the other day to get my application form from the Ateneo Law School. Man, that place is sooo dead. It’s dark, quiet, even immaculate in some areas. It’s as if there’s a huge “Do Not Disturb” sign painted everywhere. Well, maybe its just because of the time I was there but you could very well hear a pin drop in that place. It gives me the creeps to think that I might have to study there. But then, it does seem quite a nice place to be, given the lack of distractions.

* * * * *

I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut. I can still remember the first time I got a hold of an Atlas and asked by Dad what the pictures in the book meant. After all the boring green and blue illustrations of the earth there was a section on the constellations and a map of the moon which grabbed my attention immediately. Now here was a thing to would probably have enthralled other kids in my stead. I kept that book with me and I still have it now plus a more extensive library of astronomy books ranging from simple star charts to astrophysics and cosmology.

Alas, how the hell could someone like me get a ticket up there unless I buy one?

I asked this question so many years ago thinking that I had finally grown up, that I had finally learned the adult lesson of practicality. I believed that not all dreams come to pass no matter how hard we want them to, that the Disney values of believing was just a joke and so was my dreams of space. After that moment, I never really got my bearings on where to take my life.

* * * * *

I know that there were times after that when I’d lie in bed staring at the ceiling for hours on end just thinking what the hell could I do with my life. I admit that there were moments when I wanted to be a lawyer, to be able to defend myself from anyone and anything by using my head and the ruling force of law. I’d daydream about it during our Partnerships and Corporations law class on Saturdays when the discussion became way too boring or repetitious. But that was all that they were, mere moments, daydreams, my imagination just going wild again. I don’t know feel as if this is the path I want to take. I don’t even know if I have what it takes to survive law school and the bar exams, much less get in. This coupled with the pressure from my Dad to take up law studies is getting on me already more so because I’ll be graduating in two months.

So after all this verbal hockey, the big question still remains… what the hell do I do after graduation? I don’t think I’ll be able to answer that question tonight. I don’t even think I’ll be able to answer it anytime soon. I guess that I should apologize for wasting your time in reading this entry. I just wanted to blow off some steam here.

* * * * *

Malapit na birthday mo… Mga dalawang oras na lang… Wala lang, may nais lang ako sabihin sandali…

Natatandaan ko yung unang pagkakataong nakita kita nung OrSem. Suot mo yung pulang RL Polo t-shirt, jeans, itim na Nine West na medyas, at itim na sapatos. Natatandaan ko na ang graceful mo umupo two seats away. Nung mga panahong iyon iniisip ko “grabe, ang ganda and ang cute niya!” hehe sorry, medyo sumobra yata sa detail. Anyway, ang pinaka natatandaan ko yung mata mo… sobra sobrang sad ng mga mata mo. :( I guess that was the biggest reason why I was drawn to you… para bang “bakit kaya malungkot mata niya?” kind of thing. That plus yung feeling na “grabe, I wish I could do something to prevent her from being hurt by anything or anyone.” Iyon na marahil ang dahilan kung bakit kita nagustuhan.

Oo, umaamin nako. Marahil, alam mo na rin iyon pagkatapos ng mga panunukso ng mga blockmates. Pero super duper natakot ako nung nangyari mga panunukso. Di naman kailang ilang ka eh. Ako nga rin eh. Pasensha ka na, ang daldal ko kasi eh. Di ko lang kasi matago sa sarili ko yung nararamdaman ko nuong mga panahon na iyon. Alam mo ba yung feeling na parang sasabog ka kung wala kang ibang mapagsabihan ng isang bagay? Ganun yun nangyari sa akin.

Ewan ko… ano ba meron sa mata mo… ang lungkot kasi eh. I guess it just haunted me for the longest time and still does whenever I think about you. Para bang ang sarap sarap mo siguro alagaan. Siguro ganuon lang talaga akong tao, iyon bang ayaw na inaalagaan o pinapansin kasi mas gusto kong mag-alaga ng iba. Pero kamakailan, napansin ko na mas lumala yata. “May problema ba? May magagawa ba ako?” Ganyan ang mga tanong ko na hindi ko natatanong dahil natatakot yata akong mag mukhang walang silbi, isang walang maaaring magawa upang maibsan ang kung anu mang problema mo (kung meron man) at tumunganga lang sa tabi at manuod. Baka naprapraning lang ako pero kuminsan feeling ko ayaw mo lang talaga akong makialam. Pasensha na… Di ko kasi mapigilan maging concerned sayo eh…

Ano ba talaga punto ko? Nais ko lang sabihin na sana maging masaya ka na, na huwag na masyadong mag-alala sa mga bagay bagay na alam kong kayang-kaya mong solusyonan o hindi naman dapat talaga pinag-aalalahan. Kumain ka ng mabuti palagi at huwag nang magpupuyat sa harap ng TV kung maiiwasan. Ayun lang. (Yuck, parang sermon. Sorry…)

Maligayang bati sa iyong kaarawan ! ü

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Raymond Santos Estrella

I guess I should really make a proper writeup here. Something witty or maybe a joke to add some levity. I’ll come back to this when I have time. If you have any suggested copy that I can insert here, drop me a line.

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